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Pilgrim Tercentenary (1920 – 1921) Half Dollar Auctions

To commemorate the landing of Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, Congress authorized a special half dollar on May 12, 1920. Cyrus E. Dallin, a Boston sculptor, executed the designs furnished to him by the commission. His initial D is below the elbow of Governor William Bradford, on the obverse. The reverse shows the Mayflower. The first issue had no date on the obverse. The coins struck in 1921 show […]

Panama Pacific Exposition (1915) Half Dollar Auctions

This half dollar was designed by Charles E. Barber (obverse) and George T. Morgan (reverse). The exposition held in San Francisco in 1915 celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal. The coin were struck at the San Francisco Mint and were sold at $1 each during the exposition. A representation of Columbia with the golden gate in the background is the principal feature of the obverse. The Panama-Pacific coins were […]

Oregon Trail Memorial (1926 – 1939) Half Dollar Auctions

The memorial coin was struck in commemoration of the Oregon Trail and in memory of the pioneers, many of whom lie buried along the famous 2000-mile highway of history. James Earle Fraser and his wife, Laura Gardin Fraser, prepared the designs. The original issue was struck at Philadelphia and San Francisco in 1926. Coinage was resumed in 1928 (released in 1933), and in 1933, 1934 and 1936 through 1939. The […]

Old Spanish Trail (1935) Coin Auctions

The coin commemorated the 400th anniversary of the overland trek of the Cabeza de Vaca Expedition through the Gulf states in 1535. The coin was designed by L. W. Hoffecker, and models were prepared by Edmund J. Sen. The explorer’s name literally translated means “head of a cow”; therefore, the device was chosen for the obverse. The reverse bears a yucca tree and a map showing the Old Spanish Trail.

San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (1936) Coin Auctions

The opening of San Francisco Bay Bridge was the occasion of a special souvenir fifty-cent piece. The designs were the work of Jacques Schnier, a San Francisco artist. A California grizzly bear dominates the obverse. The famous landmark bridge is shown on the reverse. The coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint in November 1936. The bear depicted was a composite of animals in local zoos.

Norfolk, Virginia, Bicentennial (1936) Coin Auctions

To provide funds for the celebration of Norfolk’s anniversary of its growth from a township in 1682to a royal borough in 1736, Congress first passed a law for the striking for medals. The proponents, however, being dissatisfied, finally succeeded in winning authority for half dollars commemorating the 300th anniversary of the original Norfolk land grant the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the borough. William Marks Simpson and his wife, […]

Monroe Doctrine Centennial (1923) Half Dollar Auctions

The California film industry promoted this issue in conjunction with a motion picture exposition held in June 1923. The obverse shows the heads of James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, who were identified with Monroe Doctrine. The Western hemisphere is portrayed on the reverse in forms that suggest two female figures. Chester Beach prepared the models for this coin.

Missouri Centennial (1921) Fifty Cent Auctions

The 100th anniversary of the admission of Missouri to the Union was celebrated at Sedalia during August 1921. To mark the occasion, Congress authorized the coinage of fifty-cent piece. Robert Aitken designed the coin, which shows the bust of a frontiersman on the obverse, and another frontiersman and Indian on the reverse. The first struck show 2 *star* 4 incused, indicating that Missouri was the 24th star in the flag. […]

McKinley Memorial (1916 – 1917) Dollar Auction

The sale of the McKinley dollars aided in paying for a memorial building at Niles, Ohio, the martyred president’s birthplace. The obverse, showing a profile of McKinley, was designed by Charles E. Barber; the reverse, with the memorial building, was designed by George T. Morgan.

Maryland Tercentenary (1934) Half Dollar Auctions

The 300th anniversary of the founding of the Maryland Colony by Cecil Calvert (known as Lord Baltimore) was the occasion for this special coin. The profits from the sale of this issue were used to finance the celebration in Baltimore during 1934. Hans Schuler designs the coin, which shows the facing head of Lord Baltimore on the obverse and the arms of Maryland on the reverse, reminiscent of the Maryland […]